Main opposition Akel on Monday told foreign diplomats in Cyprus the simplest and surest way for Turkish Cypriots to ensure their share in the island’s hydrocarbons wealth was to help reach a solution.
Addressing 35 ambassadors and other diplomats at a lunch in Nicosia, Akel leader Andros Kyprianou spoke about the failure of the talks in Crans-Montana last year and signalled Akel’s full agreement with the position of the UN secretary-general in September on ‘a package’ of six main pending issues.
“Akel fully agrees with the above approach, not only because the secretary-general suggests it, but because we are firmly convinced that, at the point we have reached, this is the right course to reach a successful end, even in a short time,” Kyprianou said.
At the same time, he noted that “it is not acceptable to expect the Greek Cypriot side to accept the upgrading of the pseudo-state in the event of a [new] failure.”
On the issue of hydrocarbons, which the Turkish side is trying to have put on the negotiating table, Kyprianou referred to the convergence that was reached by the government of Demetris Christofias on the issue during his talks with then Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
“We are well aware that Turkey is playing a role in the region’s energy map and that Turkish Cypriots want their share of the exploitation of natural gas,” Kyprianou said. “The simplest and surest way to achieve this is the solution of the Cyprus problem.”
As for Turkey, he said, Akel was not opposed to discussing its role, “but of course this must not be detrimental to the interests of Cyprus”.
“As Akel we are ready, in the event of a solution, to support the opening of talks with Turkey on the construction of a pipeline, both for its own use and for transporting natural gas to Europe,” Kyprianou added.
Kyprianou also said Akel supported Turkey’s EU accession but that Ankara had much to do to fulfil its EU obligations.